Strong Military Families

Parenting across the deployment cycle raises special challenges for military families with young children. The Strong Military Families program provides a 10-week parent and child program experience designed to support and enhance the resilience of military families by creating opportunities for families to come together and learn, support one another, and grow in their ability to navigate the unique challenges that they face. The program is designed specifically for families with a child under the age of 8 years old and at least one parent who is a service member or veteran with a deployment history (including both Active Duty or Guard/ Reserves).

Father and Son Playing Together at Home

“I know without the programs I wouldn’t have the relationship
that I now have with my kids. There’s nothing out there like
it where you go for help and to become stronger as a family.”

-Michigan Army National Guard Veteran
and Strong Military Families Graduate

 

Mom playing with toddler.The Strong Military Families Program can be delivered in one of two formats:

  • Multi-Family: a 10-week group with other families where a meal and childcare are provided.
  • Home-Based: a 10-week program that delivers written informational materials via mail.

The Home-Based option of the program is available to military families located anywhere in the state of Michigan. The Multi-Family group is currently being offered in Lansing, Ann Arbor, Warren, and Jackson. More locations may be available in the future.

 

Children’s Group Goals

  • Connect with other military children
  • Learn age-appropriate coping skills
  • Engage in crafts and games tailored to each age group
  • Play and build a relationship with their very own buddy – a trained volunteer who provides care and fun activities

“My daughter loves spending time with her buddy and the other kids.”
-Army Reserve Spouse and Strong Military Families Graduate

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Parent Group Goals

  • Strengthen your child’s resilience
  • Connect with other military families
  • Grow together as a family
  • Learn and practice strategies to take care of yourself
  • Learn about local resources

 

For additional information about the program, contact Rachel Waddell, LMSW, at rhenson@med.umich.edu or (734) 998-0089.  You can also contact our staff at strongfamilies@umich.edu.